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THEATER BEAT

A Zany Diversion With 'Only You'

March 14, 1997|F. KATHLEEN FOLEY

Buzzworks Theater Company of Minneapolis presents its first Los Angeles theater production--"Only You" at the Hudson--with high style and professional expertise. Theatrically speaking, this spirited young troupe (many of whom were seen in last season's hit comedy "Bad Seed") lacks only a worthy play. Although Timothy Mason's glib satire of neurotic love is often entertaining, it's ultimately an empty diversion.

Leo (Glenn Swan), a waiter both professionally and literally, becomes romantically obsessed with systems analyst Miriam (Andrea Beutner). Miriam likes Leo, too, but is put off by his hypothetical intensity. Meanwhile, Miriam's best friend Heather (Kris Strobeck), a formerly obese lonely-heart-turned-Brazilian-folk-dancer,has just broken up with Leo's born loser buddy Bo (Bill Bliesath). Heather falls hard for Leo's cool pal Eddie (Wayne Wilderson), who is in turn so aghast at Heather's unsolicited advances that he starts prepping for the priesthood. As the group's increasingly intricate game of musical beds heats up, only God (Joe Jokubeit) knows how things will turn out.

Under Melissa Denton's keen direction, the actors strike the perfect note of deadpan intensity required by their bizarrely eccentric characters, while grounding the play's tangential zaniness in some sort of reality, heightened though it may be.

* "Only You," Hudson Avenue Theatre, 1110 N. Hudson, Hollywood. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Ends March 29. $20. (213) 660-8587. Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes.

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